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Housing demand on rise in Florida, Pasco By Kathy Steele ksteele@lakerlutznews.com

Construction sites along Pasco County’s major corridors are part of everyday landscape. Bulldozers clear land and work crews move in with hammer and nails. Pasco is awash in new single-family homes under construction, and to a lesser degree, apartment complexes. But, market trends show that the supply of new homes is lagging behind demand.That’s a change from the housing bubble that burst in 2008 and sent the economy into a tailspin. “This time, instead of building too much, we’re building too little,” said Brad O’ Connor, chief economist for Florida REALTORS.

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But, there are solid reasons why demand is high. “Right now, demand is being driven by population growth and economic growth,” O’ Connor said. O’ Connor was keynote speaker at the Feb. 1 forum, Reshaping the Face of Pasco 2018 Economic Summit. Central Pasco Association of Realtors hosted the event at Pasco-Hernando State College Porter Campus at Wiregrass. Other participants were David Gwynn, District 7 secretary at the Florida Department of Transportation; Tom Ryan, economic development manager for the Pasco Economic Development Council; See HOUSING, page 13A

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Wrestling champs! Wrestling team members, captains, coaches and volunteers gather around as Sunlake High School’s head coach Sergio Matos holds the first-place trophy at the Sunshine Athletic Conference Wrestling Championships. The event was hosted by Pasco High School in Dade City with fourteen schools and 200 wrestlers competing. See story in SPORTS, page 14A.

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Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey, left, Pasco County Commission Chairman Mike Wells Jr., Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano, Hunter Booth, Toxey Hall, Aaron Baker, Kelli Bailey and Sean Strickler, division president for west Florida region for Pulte Group broke ground on the 850-home, age-restricted Del Webb Bexley community in Land O’ Lakes.

Del Webb moves into Bexley By Kathy Steele ksteele@lakerlutznews.com

Pulte Group broke ground on an 850home, age-restricted Del Webb Bexley community in Land O’ Lakes on Jan. 31. The age 55 and older community is the first “active-adult” project built by Pulte in the Tampa Bay area since 1960, according to a press release from Pulte Group. “We feel the Tampa area is underserved for baby boomers looking to live in a place that is designed specifically for them,” said Sean Strickler, in a written statement. Strickler is division president for the west Florida region for Pulte Group. Strickler attended the ground breaking along with executives from Pulte Group and Newland, Pasco County Commission Chairman Mike Wells, Jr., and commissioners Kathryn Starkey and Jack Mariano. The homes are under construction at Sunlake Boulevard and Tower Road on about 490 acres within the master-planned Bexley by Newland Communities, off State Road 54.The gated community will be built in four phases, with the first homes expect-

ed to be move-in ready by spring 2019. In a telephone interview, Strickler reported a construction start on model homes in October, with completion in January or February, 2019. Already, about 2000 people have expressed an interest in moving there, he said. Some homes could be sold before the model homes are finished, he added. “Del Webb always has a high degree of interest,” Strickler said.“But, this has exceeded our expectations because we haven’t done much advertising, except on the website.” Del Webb’s last active-adult community was built in the Ruskin area in the early 1960s. Plans were underway for a Wesley Chapel community before the housing bust in 2009. “Obviously the market got in the way,” Strickler said. But, it’s a different market today, and the Tampa Bay area is a magnet for baby boomers, he added. Pulte also is one of the builders at the master-planned community of Epperson, See BEXLEY, page 13A

You come home from work and you see your husband sprawled out on the couch watching television, while dishes are piled up in the sink. You get mad. You’re thinking: Really, he’s just sitting there while there’s work that needs to be done? You’re not thinking: He’s exhausted. He just finished a tough day at work and he’s stressed out. He needs to relax a little. These are the kinds of things that occur often in relationships and can sometimes result in a fight. Choosing to “believe the best” of the other person, however, can help avoid conflicts and help relationships thrive. That’s just one of the eight tips that See THRIVE, page 13A

B.C. MANION

Veronique Polo is a life coach at CREATION Wellness Center, which is part of Florida Hospital Zephyrhills.


Breaking new ground, in more ways than one By B.C. Manion

bcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

Community gardens are not a new concept, but the Watson Park Community Garden in Dade City has a new twist. This garden is the first of its kind in Florida, and the people behind it hope it will become a model for others to follow. At a ribbon-cutting and groundbreaking ceremony on Jan. 26, children from Cox Elementary School were among the first to get their hands dirty in the garden. There were others there to celebrate, including Saqib Mukhtar from the University of Florida; Whitney Elmore and Eden Santiago-Gomez, of the Pasco County Extension Office; Camille Hernandez, mayor of Dade City; representatives from the Dade City Garden Club and Pasco County Master Gardeners; financial supporters and members of the community, too. A cast of many played a role in making the garden become reality, Elmore said, in her opening remarks. She credited Santiago-Gomez for coming up with the idea and working relentlessly to pursue it. But, Elmore also noted that it was a collaborative effort and required the help of many. “It’s the first one in the state that is a partnership between the University of Florida and a municipality (Dade City), so, we’re really, no pun intended, breaking ground, breaking new ground here,” Elmore said. “Camille Hernandez, the City of Dade City and the commissioners were kind enough to see the value in this and allow funds for the fencing, for the irrigation. They had their work crews, city crews come in and put that in very quickly, a professional job, very, very well done,” Elmore said. Mukhtar, associate dean for extension and program leader for agriculture, said “this will be a shining example of what can be done.” Elmore noted:“We’ve got different types of plots.We’ve got regular raised-bed plots. We’ve also got handicapped-accessible plots.” The value of community gardens goes beyond growing fruits and vegetables, both Elmore and Hernandez said. “It really is an exciting day today,” Hernandez said. She then shared Dade City’s vision for community gardens. That vision, Hernandez said, is “to provide opportunities for people to grow food for themselves and for donations; to pro-

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Eden Santiago-Gomez works with children from Cox Elementary School to begin planting in the Watson Park Community Garden.

mote healthy diets and activities; to get to know their neighbors and make new friends; to learn from each other; to engage our youth; to promote environmental sustainability and to create a productive and beautiful common ground in our community. “Today is all about engaging and educating. I’m excited about this wonderful opportunity,” she told the crowd before the ribbon-cutting to officially open the garden, which offers free garden plots for lease. After the ceremony, Hernandez donned a pair of pink garden gloves and made her way into the garden. This is the first of many community gardens that Elmore would like to see across Pasco County. Another community garden is planned in Dade City, which Elmore expects to open within a few months at the Stallings Building, which is owned by Pasco County. Other possibilities include establishing

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Dade City Mayor Camille Hernandez is excited about the Watson Park Community Garden, which debuted on Jan. 26. The city and the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, have entered into a land-lease for the garden, which is the first of its kind in the state.

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community gardens at public libraries on the west side of Pasco County, adding community gardens to development projects and possibly to schools, too. Like Hernandez, Elmore sees enormous potential in the good that community gardens can do. Besides producing wholesome food, they offer a place where people can learn, she said.They also can bring people together and can provide a source of nutrition to reduce chronic disease. Elmore expressed gratitude for the widespread support. “All of these folks saw the need.They all saw the potential for good.And, if it hadn’t had been for them, we couldn’t have made this happen,” Elmore said. She heaped particular praise on Santiago-Gomez. “This is the result of her brainchild, of planning, coordinating, being on the phone 24/7, and getting things done.A lot of labor on her part,” Elmore said.

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE Learning how to ‘crisscross’ cookies with Grandma By Diane Kortus

pecially in our family, because my father also had 10 children. I recently spent a week at Andy’s home outside of Louisville with his wife, Erin, and Connor and Zachary. I had forgotten how time consuming and exhausting it is to take care of a toddler and baby, and was astounded by my daughter-in-law’s energy, patience and ability to persevere with such a positive attitude. I had it easy — mostly just playing cars and trucks with Connor, and then cuddling when it was time to settle down to read a book or play a matching game. It was wonderful to snuggle with 7-month-old Zachary, an exceptionally happy, inquisitive baby who already has a sense of humor. I try to get to Kentucky every three or four months to visit Andy and Erin, and to enjoy my grandchildren’s amazing developmental changes. My last visit was in October, and a highlight was making chocolate chip cookies with Connor. So, on this recent visit I wanted to continue our cookie-making tradition, and Connor and I spent an afternoon making peanut butter cookies. Connor was so proud to learn how to crisscross the cookies before putting them in the oven. He couldn’t wait to plunk his fork into the bowl of flour before mashing a crisscross into the next cookie. Zach watched from his high chair as Connor spewed cookie dough and flour everywhere, and Patch, the family dog, happily cleaned up below. I returned home from Kentucky on the second anniversary of my father’s death — a very sad day for me. But somehow the love for my grandchildren that was so fresh, helped me overcome my sadness. My father would say that the world is designed so that new life and new love replace the pain of losing someone you love. So, on this Valentine’s Day, I recognize the wisdom of my father’s words and feel truly grateful for having many people in my life to love, and for having many people who love me.

Publisher

I am delighted that this column about love is being published on Valentine’s Day. Let me begin by wishing you and all of your loved ones a lovely day. When I was a young woman, I thought Valentine’s Day was just for couples. And, when there wasn’t someone special in my life, I pretty much ignored Feb. 14. I hadn’t yet figured out that romantic love is often the most tentative of all loves, and that other kinds of loves are equally worthy of recognition. Today, I celebrate Valentine’s Day to honor love of all kinds—my love for Vic, my family, friends, co-workers and even pets. It’s the one day of the year that love is top of mind, and we take time to recognize those we love most with a phone call, a card and sometimes a gift. I have loved many people in my life, but no love has been as endearing and long-lasting as the love I have for my children. This past weekend, in fact, I celebrated my birthday by visiting my daughter, Rachel, in Tallahassee, where she is a graduate student at Florida State University. When Andy and Rachel were born, I was surprised at the intensity of a mother’s unconditional love, and how much this love consumed most of my energy for the next 25 years. When Andy became a father, he called me when Connor was just a few months old, marveling at how much he loved his boy, and how intense this love felt. He asked me if this was how I felt when he was born — and even seemed to doubt that I could have possibly loved him as much as he loved Connor. That conversation made me smile, because I remember having the same talk with my dad after Andy was born. I, too, never understood the depth of a parent’s love, until I had children of my own. My father died two years ago, and I greatly miss his love. But, I believe his unconditional love continues to flow

DIANE KORTUS

Zach, Grandma Diane and Connor take a little break from making some ‘crisscross’ cookies.

through me to my children, and now my grandchildren. One of my happiest memories of my father was at Connor’s baptism. Dad was so proud to witness his great grandson’s baptism, and I was even prouder to have him

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there to celebrate four generations of love. When Connor’s brother Zachary was born this past June, it saddened me that I could not call my father with the good news. Zachary would have been Dad’s 10th great grandchild —a significant number, es-

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AT GULFSIDE HOSPICE THRIFT SHOPPE By CHERYL MICHEL The Laker/Lutz News Account Manager

A trip to the thrift shop can be fun, especially when shopping for a good bargain. That’s certainly true at Gulfside Hospice Thrift Shoppe, where purchases support local families facing difficult situations. Gulfside Hospice’s healthcare professionals provide comfort care to an average of 350 terminally ill patients each day and offer support services to their family members. Some hospice care costs are covered by insurance plans, but not all. That's where revenue generated by the Thrift Shoppes comes in to help, to ensure that anyone can receive care, regardless of their financial situation. The revenue comes from sales of personal and household items donated to the stores. In addition to furniture, clothing and housewares, store shoppers can find collectibles, antiques and high-end accessories. Items are in good condition, and prices are very low, with additional sales offered each day. Gulfside Hospice Thrift Shoppes offer a cozy atmosphere and personal

Call Curtis for Appointment attention from staff members, who gladly help visitors with their purchases. They also receive the donations that are brought into the store. For large item donations, home pick-ups can be scheduled for free. Donated items that aren’t suitable to sell are recycled or offered to outreach programs, such as Pasco’s Veterans Alternative. When it comes to shopping, the only thing more satisfying than getting a great deal is knowing what a great difference it can make in someone’s life. Gulfside Hospice Thrift Shoppe Lutz location: 1930 Land O’ Lakes Blvd, just south of SR 54 Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm Phone: 813-909-0485

813.347.0502

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DISTRIBUTION: Florida Circ, LLC • ken@floridacirc.com SUBSCRIPTIONS: The Laker/Lutz News is a free newspaper distributed to 44,800 homes and businesses in Pasco and Hillsborough counties. Mail subscriptions are sold to cover postage cost: $40/3 months, $80/6 months, $160/12 months. DELIVERY PROBLEMS: If you do not receive your paper, or want to stop home delivery, email ken@floridacirc.com. Or, to stop delivery, go to www.lakerlutznews.com, select “About” tab and complete “Opt Out” form. ADDITIONAL COPIES: A listing of boxes and business locations is on our home page at www.lakerlutznews.com. EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS: Suggestions for stories and news coverage are welcome. Please send ideas to news@lakerlutznews.com, or call our newsroom at 813-909-2800. ADVERTISING ERRORS: Publisher is not responsible for errors in advertising beyond the space cost for the first insertion, or for the validity of claims made by advertisers. MEMBER: Central Pasco Chamber, Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber, Greater Zephyrhills Chamber, Greater Dade City Chamber, Florida Press Association, Free Community Papers of Florida, Southeast Advertising Publishers Association, Association of Free Community Newspapers, Independent Free Newspapers of America. Advertising and editorial content ©2015 by Manatee Media Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part is forbidden without prior written permission from the publisher.

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February 14, 2018

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What’s Happening Your Community Calendar • Submit 2 weeks in advance to: news@lakerlutznews.com • All listings free of charge

KNIT/CROCHET MINISTRY

FOOD TRUCK RALLY

Myrtle Lake Baptist Church, 2017 Reigler Road in Land O’ Lakes, hosts “Skeins for Christ” every Monday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.The group makes wheelchair/bedbound shawls, baby blankets/booties/hat/bibs, chemo hats, scarves, afghans, wheelchair lapghans, wristers (fingerless gloves) and prayer shawls.The ministry also provides crochet lessons and will accept donations for supplies. For information, call Linda Smith at (813) 949-5516.

The Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road in Tampa, will host a Food Truck Rally Feb. 17 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., presented by the Carrollwood Village HOAs.Admission is free. For information, call (813) 922-8167.

ZOO SPECIAL Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo salutes first responders during the month of February. First responders receive free admission and up to three discounted single-day admissions for friends and family at 50 percent off the regular ticket price, for one-time use.The special is good until Feb. 28. For information, visit LowryParkZoo.org.

ENVIRONMENTAL CAUCUS The Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida-Pasco County will have its first meeting Feb. 17 from noon to 2 p.m., at the Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway. Officers will be elected, and topics will include the group’s charter and bylaws. For information, email decfpasco@gmail.com.

Stories of flight The Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road in Tampa, will host “Flight!” Feb. 15 at 10:30 a.m. The Atlantic Coast Theatre for Youth will combine staging, original music and audience participation in this theatrical production that will explore the stories of the Wright Brothers, Amelia Earhart, the US/Soviet Union Space Race, and NASA’s accomplishments. Tickets are $7 for members, $8 for general admission, and $28 for a family four-pack. Children age 4 and younger are free, but still require a ticket. For information, call (813) 922-8167.

EDUCATIONAL HIKE The Save the Serenova community group will host an educational hike at Starkey Wilderness Preserve’s Serenova Tract Feb. 17, at the entrance at Hays Road and State Road 52 in Land O’ Lakes.Activities begin at 8 a.m.There will be a guided 5-mile moderate round-trip wilderness hike to Fishing Lake at 8:30 a.m. For information, call Laura Annan at (727) 834-0951.

SUPPORT SPECIAL OLYMPICS During the month of February, the Pasco County Tax Collector’s Office will accept donations, sell specialty tags and build awareness for Special Olympics of Pasco. For information, call Greg Giordano at (727) 847-8179, or visit PascoTaxes.com.

KIDDUSH LUNCHEON Congregation Kol Ami, 3919 Moran Road in Tampa, will host a Kiddush luncheon Feb. 17, after the 9:30 a.m. Shabbat services. Admission is free, but non-members are asked to RSVP by calling (813) 962-6338.

GARDEN CLUB The Zephyrhills Garden Gate Garden Club will meet Feb. 15 at 10 a.m., at the Magnuson Hotel, 5734 Gall Blvd., in Zephyrhills.The guest speaker will be Adah Weitzel on the topic of growing plants from seeds. For information, call Vicky Keffer at (813) 782-3798.

CAREER PANEL DISCUSSION The group Data + Women-Tampa Bay Chapter will host a career panel discussion Feb. 15 at 3:30 p.m., at Saint Leo University, 33701 State Road 52 in St. Leo, in Selby Auditorium, Lewis Hall.The topic will be “An Unexpected Journey.” For information, contact Megan Orendorf at (352) 588-8401 or jennifer.orendorf@saintleo.edu.

MUSICAL COMEDY Dreamhouse Theatre in Lutz will present the romantic musical comedy,“She Loves Me,” Feb. 15, Feb. 16, Feb. 17, Feb. 23 and Feb. 24 at 8 p.m., and Feb. 18 and Feb. 25 at 3 p.m.Tickets are $23 each at DreamhouseTheatre.com, or by calling Bryan D’Onofrio at (813) 997-7146.

TEEN ADVISORY BOARD The New River Library, 34043 State Road 54 in Zephyrhills, will have a Teen Advisory Board meeting Feb. 15 at 6 p.m., for grades six to 12. Participants can get volunteer hours for scholarships and school clubs by attending. Board members help to plan and to run the teen library programs. For information, call (813) 788-6375.

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The New River Library, 34043 State Road 54 in Zephyrhills, will host its monthly community garden meeting Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m., for anyone interested in learning more about gardening. For information, call (813) 788-6375.

The Zephyrhills Public Library, 5347 Eighth St., will offer the AARP Driver Safety course Feb. 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are no tests, and participants could receive an insurance discount.The workshop is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members.To register, call Bev Cogdill at (813) 907-3908.

LA LA LAND The Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road in Tampa, will host a viewing of the movie “La La Land” Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Seating is limited to 150 people.Admission is free. For information, call (813) 922-8167.

LUNCH AND LEARN The University Area Community Development Corporation will host a Lunch and Learn Feb. 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the University Area Community Center, 14013 N. 22nd St., in Tampa. Participants can learn about the corporation’s Prodigy Cultural Arts Program, a research-based prevention and diversion program for at-risk students in grades one to 12.Admission is free. Reservations are required by visiting UACDCLunchAndLearn.eventbrite.com. For questions, call Jaree Ervin at (813) 5585212, ext. 210.

The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will host a decorative soap class Feb. 17 from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Participants can make melt-and-pour soaps in The Foundry.There will be a variety of colors, scents and molds to choose from.A completion of all forms and waivers is required. For information, call (813) 929-1214.

FINE ARTS FESTIVAL

The Democratic Progressive Caucus of Pasco will meet Feb. 17 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.The guest speaker will be SCORE representative Greta Kishbaugh, on the topic of “Ins and Outs of Social Media.” For location and information, call (813) 9568661, or email steeringpdcp@gmail.com.

The third annual Gulfport Fine Arts Festival will take place Feb. 17 and Feb. 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the City of Gulfport Veteran’s Park, 5350 31st Ave., S.There will be ceramic, glass, metal, mixed media, wood, acrylic, collage, oil, pastel, ink, fine photography, watercolor and fine jewelry. For information, call (727) 322-5217, email SuzFest@gmail.com, or visit VisitGulfportFlorida.com.

TREE PLANTING

BENEFIT PARTY

The Rotary Club of Trinity will partner with Starkey Ranch to plant five trees at Cunningham Park, 12131 Rangeland Blvd., in Odessa, Feb. 17.There will be a welcome and acknowledgement of guests at 10 a.m., ribbon-cutting and tree planting at 10:15 a.m., and a dedication of trees and a commemorative bench at 10:30 a.m.The guest speakers will be Wayne Selk, Rotary club president; and Matt Call, of Starkey Ranch.

There will be an Island Night & Luau Feb. 17 at 6 p.m., at Admiral Farragut Academy, Park Street and Country Club Road, N., in St. Petersburg, to benefit the St. Petersburg International Folk Fair & Society. Guests are asked to wear a bright shirt, a grass skirt, or lei.Tickets are $50 per person, or $75 for two. For information, call (727) 552-1896, or visit SPIFFS.org.

SOCIAL MEDIA SEMINAR

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YEAR OF THE DOG The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will offer a “Year of the Dog” kid’s craft Feb. 17 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., as part of the Chinese New Year.The class is for kindergarten through fifth grade. For information, call (813) 929-1214.

BLUES & FOOD FESTIVAL The Cheval Winter Blues and Food Festival will be Feb. 18 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Cheval Country Club, 4312 Cheval Blvd., in Lutz.There will be fire pit seating, creole food, a kid’s area, beer stations, open corn hole play, local blues bands and more. Guests should bring lawn chairs. Admission and parking are free. For information, email Kevin@simplyeventsfl.com.

CLASSIC MOVIE The Tampa Theatre, 711 N. Franklin St., in downtown Tampa, will show the movie “Sixteen Candles” Feb. 18 at 3 p.m., as part of its Retro/Rewind Mashup of Totally ’80s Classic Movies.Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for theater members. For information, visit TampaTheatre.org.

BOLTS FAMILY CARNIVAL The Tampa Bay Lightning Bolts Family Carnival will take place Feb. 18 at Amalie Arena.There will be carnival-style games, modern games, interactions with players and coaches, a mystery bag sale, face painting, balloon artist, locker room tours and more.All proceeds will benefit the Lightning Foundation. For complete information, visit TampaBayLightning.com and click on “Community.”

AMATEUR RADIO CLUB The Zephyrhills Area Amateur Radio Club will have its monthly meeting Feb. 19 at 6 p.m., at St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church, 5855 16th St., in Zephyrhills.There also will be a discussion or presentation at 7 p.m. For information, call Gerald Hewitt at (813) 780-1980.

PRESIDENT’S DAY American House, 38130 Pretty Pond Road in Zephyrhills, will celebrate President’s Day Feb. 19 at 2 p.m.The guest speaker will be Dick Woodworth, retired college professor and memorabilia collector, on presidential campaign items dating back to 1824.There also will be refreshments. Participants are encouraged to wear red, white and blue. RSVP by Feb. 16 by calling (813) 400-2262.

“Persuasion,” by Jane Austen. New members can attend. For information, call (352) 567-3576.

READ WITH A DOG The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will host “Read with Charlie the Dog” Feb. 20 at 4 p.m. Bring your own book or choose one from the library. Charlie will be available for 15-minute increments.To schedule a spot, call (813) 929-1214.

ART CLUB MEETING The Zephyrhills Art Club will meet Feb. 20 at the Alice Hall Community Center in Zephyrhills.There will be a demonstration by some of the club’s artists.The mini-show theme will be “Birds.”Anyone interested in art can attend. For information, call Dan Gust at (301) 300-9865.

BOOK CLUB The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will host the LOL Book Club Feb. 21 at 1:30 p.m., to discuss “The Glass Castle” by Jeanette Walls.The club is for adults. Refreshments will be served. For information, call (813) 929-1214.

LECTURE ON THE LAWN Pasco County Parks, Recreation & Natural Resources will host its first free cultural event series,“Lectures on the Lawn,” Feb. 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Starkey Ranch District Park, 11880 Lake Blanche Drive in Odessa.This keynote presentation will feature an overview of Spanish Florida’s history, provided by University of South Florida historian Michael Francis. Classical guitarist Jimmy Moore also will play as part of the festivities. For information, visit bit.ly/2GS2dZ9.

ANCESTRY RESEARCH The West Pasco County Genealogical Society will host a genealogy seminar Feb. 21 from noon to 3 p.m., at the CARES Enrichment Center, 12417 Clock Tower Parkway in Hudson. Participants can learn how to perform ancestry research through more options than traditional records.The cost is $7 for non-members and $5 for society members. For information, call (727) 271-0770, or email debbehagner@yahoo.com.

FRIENDSHIP SINGERS

St. Joseph Catholic Church will host the Tal Cohen Trio on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m., in the parish center, 38750 Fifth Ave., in Zephyrhills.Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the church office, 5316 11th St., or by calling (813) 782-2813.All profits will benefit the music ministries of St. Joseph Church.

The Friendship Singers, an organization that performs in local nursing homes, assisted living facilities and senior centers in Pasco and Hillsborough counties, is looking for members.There are two practices and two concerts every month. Practices are at the Pasco County Senior Center, 6801 Wisteria Loop in Land O’ Lakes, on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. There are no auditions and no prior singing experience is required. For information, contact Joe Berling at (813) 997-1454 or jberling@tampabay.rr.com.

PASCO COUNTY FAIR

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The 71st Pasco County Fair will run from Feb. 19 to Feb. 25 at the Pasco County Fairgrounds, 36722 State Road 52.All entertainment is free with gate admission. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children age 6 through 12. Children age 5 and younger are free. Parking is free. Advance midway ride wristbands also are available online through Feb. 18. For details, visit PascoCountyFair.com.

AARP Foundation volunteers nationwide will offer free tax assistance and preparation for federal income tax returns, through April 17, using its Tax-Aide program. For sites and information, including which documents to bring along, visit AARPFoundation.org/taxhelp, or call (888) 227-7669.

JAZZ TRIO

BOOK DISCUSSION The Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., in Dade City, will host the Hugh Embry Book Discussion Group Feb. 20 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., to talk about the book,

DRIVE-THRU PRAYER Atonement Lutheran Church, 29617 State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel, offers DriveThru Prayer under its portico every Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Stop by, stay in your car, and ministry partners will share your cares and concerns in prayer.

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Land O’ Lakes students strive for ‘green’ community By Kevin Weiss

kweiss@lakerlutznews.com

For several years the Land O’ Lakes Branch Library has been plagued with massive energy consumption and a sizable electric bill. A group of high schoolers is looking to change that. The Land O’ Lakes High School Green Club, which addresses environmental issues in the community, wants to help the library achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) status — the most widely used ‘green’ building rating system in the world. To do so, the Green Club has partnered with Friends of the Pasco Library System on a fundraiser to purchase and install several energy-saving capital improvements to reduce the library’s carbon footprint. The library’s annual electric bill is $48,500, according to a Duke Energy audit performed last year. The goal is to eventually cut that figure in half. Initial desired upgrades include UV window shading, LED lighting, motion sensing light switches, and programmable timers. The Green Club has set a fundraising goal of $25,000 by May 1.As of Feb. 9, $220 has been raised. In addition to organizing a GoFundMe page, the club also plans to apply for local, state and federal grants. If enough cash is raised, the group will then look to tackle more expensive tasks such as air-conditioning upgrades, solar panels and added insulation at the library. Duke Energy recommended many of those upgrades in its audit as a measure to

COURTESY OF THE UNITED STATES GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL

KEVIN WEISS

The Land O’ Lakes High School Green Club has started a fundraiser to help the Land O’ Lakes Branch Library to reach LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) status and significantly reduce its utility bill. Among the desired upgrades are UV window shading, LED lighting, motion sensing light switches, and programmable timers, to help decrease the library’s carbon footprint. From left: Green Club co-founder Sparsha Muralidhara, Green Club founder Camellia Moors and faculty club sponsor Michelle Starr.

improve the overall efficiency of the facility and decrease overall energy consumption. County funds cover the library’s maintenance each year. However, there’s been little in the way of large-scale improvements to save on electricity since it opened on Collier Parkway in 1999. Green Club founder and senior IB (International Baccalaureate) student Camellia Moors is the driving force behind the library energy-savings initiative. She created the student organization during her junior year believing there wasn’t strong enough awareness on pressing environmental issues — including climate

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change and conservation — at the school or community level. Moors decided a high-trafficked, public space — such as the Land O’ Lakes Branch Library — was the best place to start. “I figured that if you were going to do some sort of environmental change where you wanted people to see the change, you need to do it where they’re going to see it,” Moors said. A longtime patron of the library, Moors correctly guessed it had a sizable electricity bill after noticing its fluorescent lights, untinted windows and outdated air conditioning system.“If you walk in the library, it’s pretty evident...they’re constantly running and having a huge energy consumption rate,” Moors said. The Green Club, which has a handful of active members, has facilitated other activities, including recycling drives and environment-based educational classes. They’ve also planted a garden in front of the high school’s Academy of Culinary Arts building. Green Club co-founder and member Sparsha Muralidhara said every little bit helps when it comes to preserving the environment. “Change doesn’t have to be a national sweeping movement in one go. You can start in your own backyard and then work it up to your neighbors, and then your communities and from there,” she said. Muralidhara’s passion for environmentalism harkens back to her family’s Indian roots and learning about rapid urbanization of the South Asian country.“Seeing a lot of

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) status is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. According to the United States Green Building Council, LEED ‘provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings.’

Want to help? To donate, visit GoFundMe.com/ land-o-lakes-library-greening For information on the club, email lolhsgreenclub@gmail.com.

our own natural parks and everything torn down to make way for urban blight and development was always disheartening,” she said. Meanwhile, the Land O’ Lakes Branch Library ‘greening’ project was embraced by library officials from the start, said Bob Harrison, public communications specialist for the Pasco County libraries, adding he’s been impressed by Moors’ activism and involvement. “Anything that we can come up with obviously to reduce not only our carbon footprint but also to get that electric bill down is a win-win for everybody.We try to be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money, and if we can cut expenses on something like a giant utility bill then we’re definitely all for that,” Harrison said. If the fundraiser’s successful, Land O’ Lakes would become the first Pasco branch library to earn LEED status.The county may also explore energy-saving upgrades to its six other branches, Harrison said. Moors hopes the project will inspire other environmentalists at the grassroots level. “It’s up to everybody who does have some basic awareness of the environment — and knows the importance of the environment — to continue that and stretch it out further and actually apply that knowledge more,” Moors said.

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VALENTINE’S SAVINGS New fees needed to help protect WITH THE UBER EATS AND SLICE APPS! patients during hurricanes? TUESDAY, THURSDAY AND SUNDAY

By Kathy Steele

ksteele@lakerlutznews.com

Pasco County commissioners are discussing the possibility of imposing new fees to help protect patients in licensed health care facilities when hurricanes threaten or hit. Although Hurricane Irma was a less destructive storm than many feared as it blew through the Tampa Bay region, it revealed potential problems in protecting, evacuating and sheltering patients in licensed health care facilities. County staff provided a preview of a proposal to address those issues at a Jan. 30 workshop with commissioners in Dade City. Representatives of Florida Health Pasco County and Medical Center of Trinity attended, too. Recommendations include training exercises, drills and hiring a full-time operations coordinator. And, there are ongoing discussions on how to fund all of this. County officials favor collecting an annual fee per bed, ranging from just under $12 to slightly more than $14. Preliminary estimates show the county has more than 6,200 beds. Most are in assisted living facilities, nursing homes and hospitals. A second option would be an annual fee per facility ranging from about $864 to more than $914. Pasco would like to hire the operations coordinator by this spring. Initially, health care providers could be asked to make voluntary contributions until a fee schedule is approved. The county’s operations coordinator would serve as liaison between Pasco, the state health department and licensed facilities, including nursing homes, assisted living establishments, hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. “We have to have one person who is dedicated to this,” said Kevin Guthrie, Pasco’s assistant county administrator for public safety.“We just don’t have that.” The county’s emergency management department reviews and approves emergency plans prepared by those facilities. There is much to consider. State and federal laws apply to health care providers and their emergency readiness. For example, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, set new rules for patient safety during emergencies for a list

of 17 categories of Medicare and Medicaid providers. Those took effect in November 2017. The list includes hospitals, hospices, transplant centers, home health agencies and community mental health centers. The county also Kevin Guthrie has other rules that come under review. Gov. Rick Scott issued an emergency order after 14 nursing home patients in Hollywood died after a power failure at their nursing home.The governor’s order requires health care providers have generators and fuel to last four days. The same rule applies whether the facility has six beds or 400. “It’s going to be some of the smaller units that struggle and need help,” said Devin Sommise, director of engineering and facilities for the Medical Center of Trinity. Pasco has as many as 26 shelters available for emergencies. Many are based in area high schools and middle schools. As Hurricane Irma approached, some nursing homes evacuated patients to shelters. But, there were problems. According to Guthrie, 15-passenger vans would show up at a shelter “just dropping off people at the door step.” Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore said at least one nursing home didn’t have enough staff to transport patients from a shelter back to the nursing home. “It was disappointing they didn’t staff to get their patients back,” he said. Pasco County Sheriff’s office stepped in and brought passenger vans to pick the patients up, Moore added. “Somebody from the facility should have to stay with them,” said Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey. The county’s proposal would focus on developing a communication plan to prevent similar occurrences. If the new job position is approved, duties would include reviewing, but not writing, emergency plans for health care facilities in Pasco, as well as facilitating eight exercise events and six training courses. “Everyone has to have a plan. Everyone has to execute it,” said Sommise.“How are you getting these people out? Show me.”

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What’s Cookin’ Rotisserie chicken provides quick, easy meals By Betsy Crisp

the various markets to compare sizes and costs, bird by bird, determined to find the best buy. Rotisserie chickens can vary greatly in size, flavor (traditional, barbecue, mojo, Mediterranean, lemon-pepper and more), and price (usually $5 to $9), depending on where you shop and are even more economical if you use some of the tips below to do it all at home. You can save time, money, and calories – if you plan ahead. Here are some nutritional facts worth sharing:A quarter-piece serving (breast and wing, or thigh and leg) of the average store-bought rotisserie chicken (with skin) contains approximately 300 calories; 42 grams of protein; 15 grams of fat, of which 5 grams is saturated; 160 milligrams of cholesterol; and 675 milligrams of sodium. Try cooking your own hen in an electric slow cooker, or roast it in the oven, or poach skinless chicken breasts (reduces fat content) on top of the stove.You can store in the refrigerator or freeze it for use later in soups, chili, stews, pot pies, chicken salad, etc.

Special to The Laker / Lutz News

When you are out shopping for groceries and looking for a quick and easy way to get dinner on the table after you get home, it is ever so tempting to take advantage of a hot rotisserie chicken. The aroma alone will reel you in. A rotisserie chicken is a whole hen that is cooked on a rotating spit, using direct heat (electric, gas, charcoal). You can usually find them in the deli section of your local grocery stores, big box chains, and buying clubs. The roasted birds also make a great meal to take to a sick friend. One of my dear neighbors heard that I had just returned home from the hospital and rushed one over to me, so I wouldn’t have to cook for my family that night. It was greatly appreciated. She was surprised when I thanked her again a few days later and commented that I was able to get three meals out of that one hen: sliced meat, chicken salad and a soup! I must admit, though, that I had never seen a bird that large before and came to the realization that all hens are not created equal when it comes to rotisserie chickens. Since then, I have been searching

Betsy Crisp, MS, LD/N is a professor emeritus for the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension – Family & Consumer Sciences

Slow-cooker lemon-pepper rotisserie chicken INGREDIENTS: 1 whole chicken of 4 pounds to 5 pounds 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

BETSY CRISP

Not all rotisserie chickens are the same. They can vary in weight and price. Pay attention to the size and cost, while shopping, in order to get the best value.

RUB: 2 teaspoons paprika 1 ½ teaspoons lemon-pepper seasoning 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon onion powder ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Poached chicken breasts INGREDIENTS: 4 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless) 2 low-sodium chicken bouillon cubes (granules or liquid can be used) with water to make 2 cups

INSTRUCTIONS: In a small mixing bowl, add all rub ingredients and whisk together. Remove giblets in the cavity of the chicken. (They are not used in this recipe) Rub the outside of the hen with the olive oil and spice mixture. Refrigerate for up to 24 hours, or place immediately in a large electric slow-cooker. Cook on low for 6 hours to 8 hours, or on high for 3 hours to 4 hours. The internal temperature must reach at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Note: If oven cooking is preferred: After applying the spice mixture, bake in an uncovered casserole dish on the lowest rack at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour and 15 minutes, basting with juices collected in the dish about every 20 minutes. Bake until a food thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the chicken registers at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Note: Additional seasonings such as bay leaves, carrots, celery, garlic, onions, parsley, peppercorns, thyme and salt may be added, but are optional, and will change flavor of meat (depends on intended use/particular recipe). INSTRUCTIONS: Place chicken breasts in saucepan. Add enough water with bouillon to cover by 1inch. Bring water to a boil (medium-high), reduce heat (medium-low) and cover. Simmer approximately 10-15 minutes until minimal internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit is reached. Strain the liquid and save broth for soup base. Let breasts cool and then cut as desired (slice, shred, cube). Refrigerate both until ready to use for up to three days, or freeze for later use.

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Ranch Days offers ample servings of entertainment, fun The Laker/Lutz News Staff Report

Ranch Days gave visitors a chance to enjoy good music, watch entertaining acts, go for ranch tours and grab a bite to eat, said Kevin Campbell, who along with his wife, Andie, coordinates events at Little Everglades Ranch, 17951 Hamilton Road, north of Dade City. The event was in its second year, and organizers plan to continue the event next year, because they be- The sun sets behind the Little Everglades, showcaslieve it is an affordable way for ing Little Everglade Ranch’s iconic sculpture, on the families to have a good time, evening of Feb. 10. Campbell said. “It was a beautiful weekend,” Campbell of prey act, to a snake show; a tight wire act said.“It came off well.We had some great en- to live music; and, tours of the ranch. tertainment.” “Some of the bluegrass and country acts The event offered everything from a birds were just amazing,” Campbell said.

RICHARD K. RILEY

Maggie Moore, Jerry Stacy and 2-year-old Nevaeh Dow, of Dade City, form a stack in the crowd, while watching The Rick & Jan Show with Snorkel the Pig in the event’s Midway.  

Mean Mary, banjoist and song writer, opened the music portion of the 2018 Ranch Days at Little Everglades Ranch in Dade City.

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Health

fear, negative feelings, and how to live in the present moment. Admission is free, but registration is required. For information and to RSVP, call (813) 443-2046.

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Wellness

COMMUNITY EVENTS

Send health news to news@lakerlutznews.com

VETERAN HEALTH SERVICES The Pasco County Vet Center and the Mobile Vet Center offers counseling for readjusting to civilian life, military sexual trauma, bereavement, post-traumatic stress disorder, and marriage and family.Also available are resources for benefits information and suicide prevention referrals. All services are confidential and free for veterans and family members. The center is at 5139 Deer Park Drive in New Port Richey, and is open Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. For information or to tour the facility, call (727) 372-1854.

HIV AND HEP C TESTING The Florida Department of Health in Pasco County, along with the Public Defender’s Mobile Medical Unit, will offer free rapid HIV and Hepatitis C testing at several locations throughout the month of February. Results from the rapid tests will be available within 20 minutes. For information, visit Pasco.flhealth.gov. For questions, call (727) 619-0260.

TECHNOLOGY AND HEALTH Access Health Care Physicians, 5350 Spring Hill Drive in Spring Hill, will host a lecture on “Cell Phones, Computers & Other Devices: What Are They Doing to Us?” Feb. 15 from 5:15 p.m. to 7 p.m. For information and to register, call (352) 688-8116, ext. 4344.

QUIET THE MIND & BODY St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, 4211 Van Dyke Road in Lutz, will offer a four-part series on the “Power of Guided Imagery,” from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., on Feb. 15, Feb. 21, Feb. 28 and March 7, in Garden Classroom B. The program will demonstrate a gentle way for participants to quiet the mind and body through the use of visualization to help patients with cancer or heart disease improve their quality of life and emotional well-being. Caregivers also can attend. The classes will cover topics such as managing pain, side effects of treatment and surgery, sleep disturbances, stress/anxiety,

The Medical Center of Trinity, 9330 State Road 54, will host these upcoming community events: • Feb. 15 at 3 p.m.: Lymphedema Support Group • Feb. 15 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.: Huntington’s Disease Support Group • Feb. 21 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.: Newborn Care Class • Feb. 21 from 7:15 p.m. to 9 p.m.: Compassionate Friends Support Group • Feb. 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Saturday Super Prep Childbirth Class • Feb. 28 at 6 p.m.: Infant CPR Reservations are required. For information, call (727) 834-5630.

MEDICARE 101 The New River Library, 34043 State Road 54 in Zephyrhills, will offer “Medicare 101” Feb. 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) representative will be available to answer enrollment questions. For information, call (813) 788-6375.

NEWBORN CARE St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, 4211 Van Dyke Road in Lutz, will offer a newborn care class Feb. 17 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., in Garden Classroom A. The interactive class will cover infant care, including feeding, diapering, bathing safety, signs of illness, and newborn characteristics. The cost is $25, which covers the expectant mother and a support person. To register, call (813) 443-2046.

MEDICARE ASSISTANCE The Land O’ Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, will offer Medicare assistance Feb. 17 from 10 a.m. to noon, to educate elders regarding Medicare insurance. For a one-on-one appointment, call (727) 570-9696, ext. 273. Information can be found online at FloridaShine.org.

MARIJUANA DISCUSSION Congregation Kol Ami, 3919 Moran Road in Tampa, will host a Tree of Lifelong Learning presentation Feb. 18 at 10 a.m. The guest speaker will be Dr. David Berger, board-certified pediatrician, on “A Spirited Discussion of the Use of Medical Marijuana.” Berger is with the Wholistic ReLeaf Family Care Clinic, a division of Wholistic Pediatrics and Family Care in

COURTESY OF KIRSTY CHURCHILL

Members of Team Pat Jones & Company CPAs on the memorial walk route.

Stroll raises nearly $14,000 for hospice The inaugural Hospice Legacy Stroll at Sims Park in New Port Richey raised nearly $14,000 to benefit Gulfside Hospice & Pasco Palliative Care. The stroll was inspired by the original Hike for Hospice. More than 60 people participated in the memorial walk. Several stations were set up along the path, allowing families and friends to remember and Carrollwood. Topics will include the provisions of Amendment 2; who can obtain medical marijuana, what guidelines have to be met, and who can prescribe it; what diagnoses meet the criteria for use; the legality of treatment; how treatment is regulated; interactions with other treatments; and, how a treatment plan is developed. For information, call (813) 962-6338. St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, 4211 Van Dyke Road in Lutz, will offer a free lecture on total joint replacement Feb. 19 and Feb. 26 at 10 a.m., in the Nursing Administration classroom. Participants can learn more about total joint replacement, preparing for surgery and the recovery process. Based on requirements of a physician and availability, participants could get preop testing done the same day. To register, call (813) 443-2046.

HERNIA Q&A Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel will offer “Hernias: Questions You Have,Answers You

Dr. Colon-Rivera earned her medical degree from Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, Mexico. Active member of the Puerto Rico, Florida & American Medical Associations; American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology; American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “I want my patients to know that I care for them, that I’m part of their team and that their health & concerns are my priority.”

Obstetrics and Gynecology of Trinity is pleased to welcome Dr. Colon-Rivera to our team of physicians.

Jenny Buck, MD, FACOG

Reut Bardach, MD, FACOG

We are located on the campus of Medical Center of Trinity, just 15 minutes west of the Suncoast Expressway on State Road 54. Nay Hoche, MD

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February 14, 2018

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St. Joseph’s Hospital-North, 4211 Van Dyke Road in Lutz, will offer a free lecture on treatment options for hernias Feb. 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Participants can learn about hernias and see a surgical robot that can be used for certain surgeries. Private consultations will follow the presentation. For information and to register, call (813) 443-2046.

HEARING AID SEMINAR The Zephyrhills Public Library, 5347 Eighth St., will offer a hearing aid seminar Feb. 20 from 9 a.m. to noon. To reserve a seat, call (813) 780-0064.

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Need” Feb. 20 at noon, in the fourth-floor classroom. Dr. Vijay Ferris, board-certified general surgeon, will discuss the causes, symptoms and treatment options. A light lunch will be provided. Reservations are required. For information, call (844) 504-9378, or visit FHWesleyChapel.org/events.

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honor loved ones. Awards were given to the top fundraising teams, which included Let’s Stroll ($300), Trilogy Team ($290) and Richard’s Riches ($250). Gulfside chaplain Steve Graybill was recognized with the Dove Award for receiving the most Hospice Hero recognitions from families throughout the past year.

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Pasco County is turning to a state law against littering — coupled with the help of its citizens — to get tougher on illegal dumping. The targets of the get tough campaign are illegal dumping by individuals and blighted commercial properties. Pasco County citizens will be enlisted in a social media blitz, dubbed #PascoProud, aimed at catching illegal dumpers in the act, and prosecuting them. No changes to current county ordinances are planned. Instead, county officials have created an email address — RIDPasco@pascocountyfl.net — where citizens can report locations of illegal dumping, vehicle license plate numbers and, when possible, attach videos and photos of offenders. People also can post locations and photos to social media with the hashtags #PascoProud and #RIDPasco. On MyPasco mobile application, they can click the link, “Report Illegal Dumping.”And, they can visit a Report Illegal Dumping website at http://bit.ly/2Bj6CUz, or call (727) 8472411. This new program aims to make it possible to report illegal dumping in as many ways as possible. Citizens are ready to join in the fight, said Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore, who worked with county staff members to craft the proposal. “They’re mad.They’re already out there taking pictures,” Moore said. Pasco County relies on cameras placed in about a dozen locations.And, citizens routinely call in complaints to county staff and county commissioners. But, greater citizen engagement in catching illegal dumpers, and boosting arrests and penalties, would be a “proactive, preventive measure,” said Marc Bellas, the county’s performance management director. Bellas said county employees will conduct “triage” to prioritize the emails and other citizen-reported information. Part of their efforts will be to determine whether debris and trash are on public or private property. There are limits to what county government can do when dumping is done on private property, Bellas said. Emails and photos will be forwarded to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office to investigate.

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Medicine and We eight Loss

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By Kathy Steele

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Pasco wants you, to Holistic fight illegal dumping Internal

FILE

A donation bin, off State Road 56, became a magnet for illegal dumping. County officials plan to use a state law, and #PascoProud campaign to get tougher on citizens and commercial haulers who illegally dump.

Violators under the county’s ordinance can be fined up to $500 a day, per violation. However, state law also can be applied. Pasco officials have their sights on blighted commercial properties. Penalties under state law could mean fines, points against a driver’s license, community service, and jail time. Haulers who work for profit could face forfeiture of trucks and other vehicles, if they are caught illegally dumping. Penalties under state law are partly based on the amount of litter that is dumped, and partly based on who does the dumping. Litter that is 15 pounds or less, or less than 27 cubic feet in volume, for instance, would carry a civil penalty of $100, under state law. However, violators could be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor for dumping more than 15 pounds, but less than 500 pounds, or an amount greater than 100 cubic feet in volume.This applies to illegal dumping not done for “commercial purposes.” According to state law, convictions for first-degree misdemeanors carry stiff fines, and potentially could result in points on the violator’s driving record. Violators who illegally dispose of more than 500 pounds or more than 100 cubic feet, or “any quantity for commercial purpose,” can be charged with a felony of the third degree. Penalties include jail time and forfeiture of vehicles used in the illegal dumping. “We’re going to go stricter,” Moore said. “We’re not going to put up with this anymore.” For more information, visit PascoCountyFl.net.

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Feeling Younger from Within Special to The Laker / Lutz News With the opening of New Age Medical Center in 2003 in Brooksville, Florida, David Moreno, M.D., began applying his integrative methods to help patients combat chronic fatigue, hormone imbalances, sexual dysfunction, nutrient deficiencies, weight gain and other ailments. Word of his successful therapies spread, and in 2015, he expanded his practice to Land O’ Lakes, Florida, offering evening hours to working clients, many of whom commute from Tampa. “I believe in aiding my patients and assessing their physical needs in a natural and safe way,” said Moreno. “My driving principle has always been to help people feel younger from within. To achieve persistent and enduring body wellness requires an effective combination of alternative and conventional medicine.” The core principle of Moreno’s functional approach to medicine is that every system in the body works together. If one system is out of balance, it can affect a person in many ways. Using a variety of tests and evaluations, he can “find out what’s not functioning in you.”

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At New Age, Moreno and his wife, Sandra Moreno, L.M.T., take an integrative approach to clients’ health. This means using a blend of Western medicine and natural therapies to provide the most effective treatment. They describe this approach as “having more tools in your toolbox.” For example, Sandra Moreno performs therapeutic medical massage for drug-free relief from aches and pains. For those with debilitating conditions, Dr. David Moreno is registered with the Department of Health to certify patients for medical marijuana. They believe a combination of pharmaceuticals and natural therapies yields the best results. Their focus is on finding and treating the root cause of a patient’s affliction, not using a “Band-Aid” approach to treat symptoms, possibly requiring the patient to rely on longterm medication for relief. For instance, metabolic testing is done to determine specific lifestyle and diet modifications that may be needed. A heavy metals test can identify toxins such as lead or mercury that may lead to fatigue and other health issues. Because of this highly customized approach, programs of treatment can help those with challenging issues such as diabetes or autoimmune disorders. Hormone and genetic testing can provide a comprehensive analysis of a body’s function – or malfunction – that can then be specifically balanced. Just as people have unique health concerns and systems that function in different ways, at New Age Medical Center, the Morenos provide equally individualized treatment. For more information, call (813) 528-4064 or visit www.newagemedicalcenters.com. Footnote: David Moreno, M.D., Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Nutrition, is the Founder and President of New Age Medical Center. He holds degrees from the University of Illinois in Chicago-College of Medicine and completed his residency at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida, in 2001.

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Saint Leo University will host a Hometown Heroes Night Feb. 24, welcoming veterans and first responders from the community and Saint Leo student-veterans, military students, and faculty and staff members who served in the military to the evening’s basketball games. Saint Leo will honor the heroes during the games. The women’s basketball game against Rollins College starts at 5:30 p.m. The men’s game will be at 7:30 p.m., taking on the Tars. Both will be played at the Marion Bowman Activities Center, 33701 State Road 52 in St. Leo. Admission is free for veterans, active duty military, and first responders, including law enforcement, emergency medical, and fire personnel. For information or special accommodations, email Franck Bayebanen at franck.bayebanen@saintleo.edu.

ARTIST RECEPTION Tampa Day School will host an artist reception March 1 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at the Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Road. The exhibit will showcase art by the school’s students in the center’s corridor gallery throughout the month of March. Admission is free. For information, call (813) 922-8167.

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE Saint Leo University is looking for collegebound high school seniors who want to study computer science or mathematics for a special four-year scholarship and academic program the school has underway. Saint Leo plans to admit eight high-achieving students as Emerging Math and Computer Science Scholars in the fall at University Campus in east Pasco County. Recurring scholarships of up to $10,000 will be available to each admitted scholar, as long as academic standards are met. The EMACS program scholarships were made possible through a grant from the National Science Foundation. Applications for fall acceptance are due March 1. For information, email Vyas Krishnan at vyas.krishnan@saintleo.edu.

Pasco-Hernando State College will offer a variety of classes in an express mini-semester, allowing students to complete coursework in half the time needed in a traditional semester. Currently, multiple sections of more than 20 classes, including courses in English, math, public speaking, history and the sciences are still available in the spring express mini-term, which starts March 12 and ends April 30. For information, visit PHSC.edu

HILLSBOROUGH SCHOLARSHIPS Hillsborough County Social services has partnered with the Community Action Board to offer scholarships for up to $5,000 to eligible students who want to continue the education by attending an institution of higher learning. Applications for the 2018-2019 school year will be accepted through March 30. Recipients will be notified in writing prior to the start of the fall semester. Applicant must be: • between the ages of 16 and 24, have a high school diploma or GED equivalent (16 year olds may apply if they are graduating seniors) • reside in Hillsborough County • have a minimum GPA of 2.5 • have a household income within 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines of the Community Services Block Grant The following criteria also will be used to evaluate applicants: • community service and school involvement • application and letters of recommendation • academic record (transcript) • essay response • panel interview participation Application materials and detailed instructions can be downloaded at tinyurl.com/y7gj26jz. Students may submit completed applications online, by mail, or in person to any County Community Resource Center. Mailed applications should be sent to P.O. Box 1110, Department of Social Services, 24th Floor,Attention: Maria Theodore,Tampa, FL 33601.

MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP RECEIVES DONATION The Pasco-Hernando State College Foundation received a gift of $5,500 from Bayfront Health Dade City Volunteer Foundation to help build the Vonnie Roberts Memorial Scholarship, which is designed for PHSC students enrolled in nursing and health programs in Dade City. The memorial scholarship, established in 2013, honors Vonnie Roberts (1960-2009), a nurse at Bayfront Health Dade City.

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An up-close look at the capital A group of six students, a teacher and two parents from Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School in Spring Hill spent six days in Washington D.C. The group met with Rep. Gus Bilirakis, Sen. Bill Nelson and Sen. Marco Rubio (center) to talk about key issues facing the United States, and in particular, Florida. The group also completed the Close Up Washington Student Program, in which students from schools nationwide spend more than 80 hours using the nation’s capital as a living classroom.

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HOUSING, from page 1A Camille Hernandez, mayor of Dade City; Kathryn Starkey, Pasco County commissioner; Mary Yeargan, director of district management at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection; and Bob Thompson, program moderator of Thompson Event Partners. Monthly supplies of single-family homes, as well as condominiums and townhouses, were down statewide in 2017, according to data from Florida Realtors. Florida had slightly less than four months of inventory for single-family homes, down about 6.2 percent from the previous year. There was a six-month inventory of condos

BEXLEY, from page 1A which features the Crystal Lagoon.There are no current plans to build a Del Webb community there. But, Pulte has about 250 lots available, and has sold 11 homes.“We anticipate them going quickly,” Strickler said.

THRIVE, from page 1A Veronique Polo, a life coach at CREATION Wellness Center in Zephyrhills, will discuss on Feb. 22 at 1 p.m., during “Eight relationship tips — A class on taking any relationship from conflicting to thriving.” CREATION Health is part of Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, which is part of the Adventist Health System. Polo said the advice she’ll be providing applies to relationships of all types, including romantic and family, as well as friendships, neighbors and colleagues. She said the tips came from books she has read and her life experiences. The goal, she said, is to provide practical information, which people can use in their day-to-day lives. “So many times you go to a class, and you’re like,‘Well, that’s great theory, but how does that work in my life?’” Polo said. The life coach said “The 5 Love Languages,” a book by Gary Chapman, can help people better understand the needs of those they are close to in their lives. Chapman’s book discusses these five love languages: gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time and touch, Polo said. “The most important thing about the love languages is understanding what the person needs.

and townhouses, down about 1.5 percent. Hillsborough County had a 2.6-month inventory of single-family homes, down 10 percent; and a two-month inventory of condos and townhouses, down almost 10 percent. Pasco County also had a 2.6-month inventory in single-family homes, down 4.2 percent; and the same amount in condos and townhouses, down 19 percent. In 2017, the biggest inventory of singlefamily homes in Pasco fell within the $200,000 to $250,000 range, followed by homes from $100,000 to $150,000, and $150,000 to $200,000.Those were increases from 2016. But, there was a significant decline from 2016 to 2017 in homes selling from $50,000

to $100,000.“There is a scarcity in the low sales rage,” O’ Connor said. Research found declines also in the monthly averages for the 2017 inventory of active listings of single-family homes, condominiums and townhouses. Florida’s average monthly listings of single-family homes were nearly 89,000, down 4.6 percent.There were about 54,000 monthly listings on average for condos and townhouses, down about 1.2 percent. Pasco had about 2,200 listings for singlefamily homes monthly, down about 2.2 percent. Condos and townhouses had about 420 listings a month, down about 16 percent. With demand higher than supply, O’ Connor said housing prices are inflated. However, data shows Pasco is still a bar-

gain for homeowners, even as prices rise, compared to other Tampa Bay counties. Statewide the median price for a singlefamily home in 2017 was $237,500, an 8 percent increase. In Hillsborough, the median price was $235,000, an increase of 6.8 percent. Pasco’s median price was $200,000, an increase of 13 percent. O’ Connor also noted one other housing trend. In 2008, homeowners stayed in their homes on average seven years. Now they stay about 11 years. It’s not clear why, though O’ Connor said people could still be feeling the effects of the economic recession. For information, visit FloridaRealtors.org.

The Del Webb Bexley community will offer six single-family home designs, of twoto four-bedrooms and two- to four-bath rooms. There will be two- to three-car garages. Home prices will start in the low $200,000 range. Residents will have a 17,000 square-foot,

multimillion dollar clubhouse that features a large social room; a café with snacks, beer, coffee and wine; a fitness area; a resort-style swimming pool; and, recreational activities overseen by a full-time lifestyle director. Del Webb residents also can enjoy a lakefront club and café as part of the larger Bexley community. And for an additional

fee, they can purchase access to Bexley’s “all-ages” amenities, which include 10 miles of multi-use Avid Trails, parks and playgrounds, a soccer field, dog park, two resort-style pools, a bike park and many social events. For information, call (866) 230-6089, or visit DelWebb.com/bexley.

Not just what is natural to you,” she said. She used this example:“One of my dearest friends, she loves gifts. “I can text her how much I appreciate her. I can wash her car. She will like those things, but what really she appreciates is if I get her a little necklace that’s meaningful, or a gift card,” Polo said. To her friend, a gift demonstrates that someone thought about her and what she likes, and went out to spend both time and money to get it for her. For someone else, quality time may be much more important. “There’s no right or wrong love language,” Polo said. The key is understanding your loved one’s needs and making a commitment to seek to meet them. She describes it like this:“There’s a love tank, and you are either going to fill it or not.” She also noted that relationships can’t be one-sided. “There are deposits and withdrawals, and people can’t keep making withdrawals, if they don’t make deposits,” she said. The way to discover your loved one’s love language is to observe them, she said. What someone gives, is likely their love language and what they want to receive, Polo said. A wife might be wondering:‘Does he really love me?’

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• If you can’t listen, don’t talk. • Believe the best. • Safety, security, love, acceptance. • Learn about the love languages. They are: Gifts, words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, touch. (What someone gives is likely their love language, and what they want to receive) • You can’t control others, only yourself. • Stubbornness is the silent killer. • Take responsibility for your happiness. • Don’t suffer in silence. (Your mate can’t read your mind and you can’t make them guess — that’s unfair.)

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Meanwhile, her husband is thinking:‘I always give her gifts. I’m always telling her I love her.’ The thing is, her love language might be quality of time or acts of service — and the husband is totally missing it, Polo said. So, the wife’s love tank is not being filled, Polo said. That’s why it’s so important to communicate, the life coach added. “Don’t suffer in silence. “So many times when we feel hurt, misunderstood — we regress, we isolate ourselves.That just inflames the problem,” she said. Communication is a two-way street, she added. “Don’t assume what your mate is thinking.Ask them questions.

Source: Veronique Polo, life coach at CREATION Health Wellness Center in Zephyrhills

“Being open about your thoughts and your feelings is how you get clarity in a relationship,” Polo said. It’s also important to realize that each of us is responsible for our own happiness, Polo said. “We blame others. We think: ‘I’m not happy because I don’t have money. My husband doesn’t make me happy, or my kids are brats. Or, whatever. It’s everybody else’s fault but yourself.You need to realize, you’re in control. “It’s not your circumstance that makes you happy. It’s how you see it,” Polo said.

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February 14, 2018

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Community Sports Your Neighborhood Sports Source

Sunlake, Pasco impress at wrestling championships By Kevin Weiss

kweiss@lakerlutznews.com

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unlake High School’s wrestling team can now lay claim as best in Pasco County. The Seahawks outlasted 13 other schools and about 200 wrestlers to win its first-ever Sunshine Athletic Championship on Feb. 10 at Pasco High School. For the Seahawks, depth won out. Sunlake (189 points) claimed three individual champions — Ross Jennings (106 pound), Sullivan Harris (113 pound) and Tyler Estep (182) — and six total finalists— Jennings, Harris, Estep, Jake Koener (145), Mathew Paduani (160) and Cayman Wiseman (220) — to edge team runner-up Land O’ Lakes (180 points). Sunlake had three individual champions and six finalists across the 14 weight classes — more than any other school. “It’s a good momentum. Definitely a good confidence builder,” said Sergio Matos, Sunlake’s FRED BELLET head coach. Sunlake’s Matt Paduani, left, looks toward his coach as he feels the pressure from Wiregrass’ Khaled “I knew it was going to be a Khatib during tournament action at the Sunshine Athletic Conference Wrestling Championships tight, tight team race with Land O’Lakes, but I felt confident that hosted by Pasco High School in Dade City. our kids would deliver,” he said. Though pleased with the overall showing, Matos acknowledged the Seahawks have plenty to work on in advance of the District 8-2A tournament this weekend. That starts with improving technique and hitting the film room. “A few things come to mind are bottom (positioning), getting better control on top, and pulling the trigger on our feet,” Matos said.

PASCO HIGH DISPLAYS YOUTHFUL POTENTIAL In addition to Sunlake and Land O’ Lakes, the event host — Pasco High School — likewise delivered a strong showing with its fourth place finish (152 points), just narrowly behind third place finisher River Ridge High School (154.5 points). Pasco had two individual champions — sophomores Jake Thornton (120 pound) and Travis Knowlton (126), and four finalists — Thornton, Knowlton, sophomore Colson Mullis (132) and junior Tim Johnson (195). The achievement was even more notable considering the Pirates have a young roster missing varsity wrestlers in several

Gulf High School’s wrestling coach, Nick Adams, watches his wrestler, James Dutton, as Dutton faces off against Sunlake’s Jake Koener in the 145-pound matchup at the Sunshine Athletic Conference Wrestling Championships.

Pasco High School’s Tim Johnson, left, prepares to grapple with Troy Royal, of Wesley Chapel High School, in the 195-pound matchup. Royal won the match.

weight classes and a first-year head coach in Josh Thornton. The Pirates also have been without senior leader Cameron Lee, who earned SecondTeam All-Conference honors last season in the 170-pound weight class. Lee broke his forearm early in the season,Thornton said. “We don’t even have a full team right now. Our bread and butter, our core — almost all of them are sophomores,”Thornton said. “They’re showing up and willing to work, and it’s starting to show on the mats now, too,” he added. The injury bug also hit another standout wrestler recently. Mullis had been dealing with a knee injury the past three weeks prior to his runner-up finish at 132 pounds in the conference championships. “He hasn’t wrestled in the room at all. He’s only been running and doing rehab stuff. It was impressive to see him get second against (Anclote’s Owen Lott) who’s a state qualifier,”Thornton said. Thornton is a former professional bicyclist with a background in boxing and judo. The coach draws upon that experience to show his wrestlers the importance of balancing endurance and intensity in matches. “It feels like a sprint for 6 minutes,” he said, “and a sprint that someone else does not want you to win.” The approach of endurance over muscle worked for Knowlton when he faced Wiregrass Ranch’s Alex Alvarez in the 126pound finals.

2018 Sunshine Athletic Conference wrestling results: TEAM SCORES: Sunlake (189 points) Land O’ Lakes (180) River Ridge (154.5) Pasco (152) Mitchell (110) Gulf (109) Wiregrass Ranch (81.5) Anclote (75) Ridgewood (71) Cypress Creek (64) Hudson (58) Zephyrhills (54) Fivay (52) Wesley Chapel (26) INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS (by weight class) 106: Ross Jennings, Sunlake 113: Sullivan Harris, Sunlake 120: Jake Thornton, Pasco 126: Travis Knowlton, Pasco 132: Owen Lott, Anclote 138: Solen Sheppard, Gulf 145: James Dutton, Gulf 152: Andrew Ferrell, Anclote 160: Khaled Khatib, Wiregrass 170: Mark Kieper, Wiregrass 182: Tyler Estep, Sunlake 195: Troy Royal, Wesley Chapel 220: James Buehrig, Hudson 285: Gabriel Schmenk, River Ridge INDIVIDUAL RUNNER-UP (by weight class) 106: Devin Smith, River Ridge 113: Kyle Eldridge, Land O’ Lakes 120: Dante Reese, Land O’ Lakes 126: Alex Alvarez, Wiregrass Ranch 132: Colson Mills, Pasco 138: Kevin Batey, River Ridge 145: Jake Koener, Sunlake 152: Scott Kren, Land O’ Lakes 160: Mathew Paduani, Sunlake 170: Mateo Feagley, Ridgewood 182: Justin Miranda, Fivay 195: Tim Johnson, Pasco 220: Cayman Wiseman, Sunlake 285: Demetrius Wright, Zephyrhills

Pasco High School’s Travis Knowlton gets his awards for competing in the Sunshine Athletic Conference Wrestling Championships held in the Pasco High School gymnasium.

“He’s much stronger than me, and I just tried to tire him out, and I took advantage of his shot and got around him, getting the two points,” Knowlton said. “He ended up on his back, and I got some more points,” the wrestler added. Meanwhile, Jake Thornton used previous knowledge of his opponent— Land O’ Lakes’ Dante Reese — in his win at 120 pounds. “I’ve wrestled him before, and I just kind of knew some of his moves. I’ve been trying to work on my shot (takedown) lately,” Jake

Thornton said. Pasco next looks ahead to a tough district 7-2A which includes powerhouse programs such as Brandon and Lake Gibson high schools. Despite its youth, the team is looking forward to the challenge this week and beyond. “We’re a young team, but we’re a fighting team,” Knowlton said. “We’re just very close-knit. As a young team that’s just going to be nothing but help us get better,” Jake Thornton said.

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THIS OUT

National Signing Day At right, four members of the Sunlake High varsity softball team participated in National Signing Day festivities on Feb. 7. Pictured from left: Emma Sica, Riley Baxter, head coach Nelson Garcia, Isabelle Huff and Mariah Melendez.

COURTESY OF SUNLAKE HIGH SCHOOL

COURTESY OF JEFF OLSON

Solid season! COURTESY OF LAND O’ LAKES HIGH SCHOOL

Nine senior student-athletes from Land O’ Lakes High school signed their letters of intent to various college and universities as part of National Signing Day on Feb. 7.

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February 14, 2018

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The Wesley Chapel High School varsity girls soccer team earned its first district title in program history after downing Pasco High School 4-3 in the Class 3A District 7 finals on Jan. 26. The Wildcats’ playoff run ended two weeks later after an overtime loss to River Ridge High School in the Class 3A regional quarterfinals — finishing the season with a 16-5-2 mark. The Wildcats coaches are Mark Leonard and Meagan Cipolla.


The LAKER / Lutz NEWS INSIDE: Directories, Classifieds, Games & More

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FEBRUARY 14, 2018

Boy Scouts and their parents help fill food pantry By B.C. Manion bcmanion@lakerlutznews.com

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group of men and women gathered recently at Harvester United Methodist Church, off Collier Parkway in Land O’ Lakes, to lug bags and boxes of food from a room in the church to their SUVs and mini-vans in the church parking lot. They made numerous trips carrying all sorts of items, including potato chips, granola bars, Goldfish, pasta, Little Bites, pudding cups, bottled water, Gatorade, and canned fruits and vegetables, among other things. The adult volunteers chatted and laughed, as they worked. There was so much stuff that they found themselves putting down seats to make more room in their vehicles. Ultimately there were enough groceries to fill five cars. They never expected such a bounty from the two-day food collection campaign conducted by Boy Scout Troop 707, of Land O’ Lakes. “We were flabbergasted,” said Kay Svendgard, a mom volunteer with the troop. The boys stood outside the Publix store at the Shoppes at New Tampa, off of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard.They collected donations on a Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and a Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Others helped, including siblings of the scouts, their parents and some members of Cub Scout Pack 323, which feeds into Boy Scout Troop 707. As shoppers walked into the store, the volunteers would hand them a Publix flyer and tell them they were collecting food for Christian Social Services, which has a food pantry in Land O’ Lakes, Svendgard said. “They would point out some of the Buy One, Get One Free, and would ask them, if they would like to come out and give us food,” she added. During the first shift alone, there was enough food donated to fill the back of a truck, Svendgard said. “I was like ‘Holy Moly, that’s unbelievable.’,” she added. “Every shift, we had the same result. Not only food, but cash donations.” Troop 707 does a variety of community service projects each year, including the most recent food drive. “One of the things that the boys learn from scouting is that you need to give back to your community,” Svendgard said. “The church itself does not have a food pantry,” she added, so it supports Christian Social Services, which does help the hungry. Troop 707 — which by the way signifies LOL (Land O’ Lakes) flipped upside down — is made up of 36 boys. The troop gets a lot of support from parents, Svendgard said. “We have a great group of adults that help make Troop 707 great,” she said. Some of them showed up to help deliver the groceries to Christian Social Services. Among them were Dan Backhus and Steve Koenig, who are both assistant scout masters. The two men have a couple of other things in common, too. For one thing, both of them are Eagle Scouts. For another, their sons, who are now freshmen in high school, have been scouts together since first grade. Doreen Perez, who also is active with the troop, and Mike Thors, a volunteer parent, were also on hand to help deliver the groceries. “I did not expect this much,” Perez said, surveying the room inside the church that was piled with bags and bags of groceries. She was pleased by the kindness of strangers. “On the first shift, there was a woman who came in. She was so excited she went in and bought an entire cart full of vegetables,” Perez said. Backhus, who works at that Publix, also was delighted by the community’s generosity. “I was just super-impressed. It was so uplifting. Everybody — they were so nice,” Backhus said. When the volunteers arrived with their

B.C. MANION

Jacquie Petet, executive director of Christian Social Services in Land O’ Lakes, was all smiles when the crew of adult volunteers for Boy Scout Troop 707 showed up with five vehicles full of food.

COURTESY OF BOY SCOUT TROOP 707

Megan Backhus, a sister of a scout, Kenneth Huffman, a Cub Scout with Pack 323 and Boy Scouts from Troop 707 Nikolaus Lappe, Jared Backhus, Owen Lowry, Sawyer Spiegel, Iain Lappe and Lawrence Huffman helped collect food during a recent food drive at Publix.

Steve Koenig, himself an Eagle Scout, enjoys being involved with Boy Scout Troop 707. He is an assistant scout master.

Kay Svengard fills a grocery cart with some of the goods collected by Boy Scout Troop 707 in a food drive for Christian Social Services.

cars full of food, Jacquie Petet, executive director of Christian Social Services, offered this response:“Holy Cow! We are blessed.” The charitable organization has food left

from its holiday donations, but knows that the supplies will dwindle. “Come summer, we’ll be so grateful,” Petet said.“This is wonderful.”

Christian Social Services has a good supply of food to help people in need because of generous holiday donations, said Jacquie Petet, the organization’s executive director. Come summer, it will be very grateful for the additional donations brought by Boy Scout Troop 707, she said.

Doreen Perez, one of the adult leaders of Boy Scout Troop 707, loads a bag of groceries in the back of a vehicle.

Dan Backhus cheerfully carries bags of groceries out to the parking lot at Harvester United Methodist Church in Land O’ Lakes.

Mike Thors, a volunteer parent involved with Boy Scout Troop 707, makes carrying groceries look easy.


LOCAL WILDLIFE

Sasha is lovable and sociable Sasha is an 11½-year-old Doberman pinscher. She enjoys playing with other dogs (especially small dogs) and giving everyone kisses (especially children her size). Sasha likes dressing up for doggie parades and costume contests. She embraced the freezing air this winter in her red sweater and hat. Everyone who knows her, loves her because of her temperament and personality. Sasha lives with her proud family, Bob and Sandi Giddens, in Lutz.

Send us a picture and information on your favorite pet!

Write a short paragraph about why your pet is special along with a photo and mail to: Pet of the Week, c/o The Laker, P.O. Box 479, Lutz, FL 33548 or email to mrathman@lakerlutznews.com, ATTN: Pet of the Week PLEASE NOTE: OWNERS NAME AND ADDRESS MUST BE INCLUDED FOR YOUR PET TO BE CONSIDERED FOR PUBLICATION.

PUT YOUR PET IN THE SP POTLIGHT! We are looking for photos and information on your favorite pet. Include in your short story your pet’s name, agee, and breed.

Don’t forget rg to include the owner’’ss name and city of residence! Send photo and information to:

The LAKERR//LLutz L NEW WS Email to: mrathman@lakerlutznews.com, SUBJEC CT:: Pet of the Week e Mail to: , P..O. Box 4 479, Lutz, FL 33548

A look of surprise Donna Worsham, of Lake Padgett Estates East in Land O’ Lakes, may have startled this sand hill crane in her yard.

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PET PAWS ADOPT FOR $14

dler. Participants also must bring poop bags and water. The next two Pasco Park Walks will be March 3 at Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park, 10500 Wilderness Park Blvd., in New Port Richey; and April 7 at Crews Lake Wilderness Park, 16739 Crews Lake Drive in Spring Hill. For additional locations and complete participation guidelines, please visit PascoCountyFL.net/pas, and select “Pack Walks.”

The Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center, 440 N. Falkenburg Road in Tampa, will offer a $14 adoption fee on all ready-togo dogs and cats, through Feb. 17.All these pets have been vaccinated, mircochipped, and spayed or neutered. The facility is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., for adoptions, lost pet searches, low-cost spay/neuter vouchers, and pet license tags. For information, call (813) 744-5660, or visit HCFL.gov.net/Pets.

BARK IN THE PARK TAIL WAGON STOPS

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay will host its 31st annual “Bark in the Park” March 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Curtis Hixon Park, in downtown Tampa. There will be food trucks, wine and craft beer, vendors, dog costume contests, a dog agility zone, adoptables, a VIP tent, a pop-up dog park, and a mile-long Walk for the Animals along the Hillsborough River. Those interested can start the celebration early by fundraising for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Participants can register by creating or joining a pack to raise money and then walking for the animals. Donations provide shelter, food/ spay/neuter services and medical care for the shelter animals. For information, call (813) 876-7138.

Pasco County Animal Services’Tail Wagon will make these adoption stops: • Feb. 17 from noon to 6:30 p.m., at the shelter, 19640 Dogpatch Lane in Land O’ Lakes • Feb. 24 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Rural King, 7422 Gall Blvd., in Zephyrhills For information, call (813) 929-1212.

FESTIVAL & FUN-RAISER Gulfport’s Get Rescued will host its 14th annual Animal Rescue Festival & Fun-raiser Feb. 24 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Beach Boulevard. There will be more than 50 participating rescue groups with more than 1,000 pets ready to find a furever home. There also will be pet-related activities, including pet care education, a food and supplies drive, animal training demonstrations, contests, the Florida Weiner Dog Derby, a Bark-B-Que, food, music and more. Admission and parking are free. For more information, please visit GulfportsGetRescued.com or contact Suzanne King at (727) 322-5217 or SuzFest@gmail.com.

SPONSOR WOOFSTOCK Pasco County Animal Services’ fourth annual Woofstock is scheduled for May 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park (formerly Land O’ Lakes Community Center), 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. The proceeds and entrance fees will benefit a fund for the sick and injured animals admitted to the shelter. There are several options for sponsorships available. For information and sponsorship packets, visit tinyurl.com/y8bsnsab.

PASCO PARK ADOPTION WALKS

Sally loves everything

Pasco Park Walks, hosted by Pasco County Animal Services and Pasco County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources, is set up to invite the community to meet and see the adoptable pets of PCAS, and to consider adoption.The walks will be in the style of a pack walk. Participants also can bring their own pets to exercise and bond with. All pets will be ready to leave directly from the park walk if they are chosen by a family, and all pets adopted from PCAS are spayed/neutered, microchipped and vaccinated. Dogs must be on a secure 6-foot leash with a collar (no prong collars or electronic collars). For safety reasons, only one pet per han-

SHARE YOUR PET NEWS If you have pet news about adoptions, walks or other events for pet owners and their pets, you can let us know by sending us an email. We just need the basics: who, what, when, where and why. The information should be submitted two weeks prior to the desired publication date.We also need a contact name and number, in case we have questions. There is no guarantee of publication, but we consider each item we receive. If you’d like to make a submission, send it to news@lakerlutznews.com.

Sally is an adorable 4-month-old tabby that loves to play with toys. She also loves being handled and cuddled and smooched and, well, the shelter hasn’t found anything she doesn’t love! Sally is microchipped, vaccinated, spayed and ready to go home.

Raising awareness

Gina Garcia and Nancy Garcia, members of the GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club, were part of the team bringing awareness to the Canine Companions for Independence project at a recent Sam’s Club Stakeout. The appearance was an opportunity to raise funds for the care and training of puppies for specialneeds recipients. With the mother-daughter duo is Canine Companion trainer Bob Hoag.

COURTESY OF PATRICIA SERIO

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Twiggy is ready to go home Twiggy is a cute 4-year-old girl. She would do best as an only furchild. Twiggy would do better with older children due to her energy level. She loves to go on trail walks and is a very affectionate girl. Twiggy originally came to the shelter in January of 2017 and was adopted out; however, she was returned due to no fault of her own. Twiggy is heartworm negative, microchipped, vaccinated and spayed.

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If you would like to adopt Sally or Twiggy, be sure to visit Pasco County Animal Services at 19640 Dogpatch Lane in Land O’ Lakes. The adoption center is open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6:30 p.m. All adoption fees include spay/neuter, microchip and vaccines. For more information, email adoptionpartners@pascocountyfl.net. www.LakerLutzNews.com

February 14, 2018

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chamber at (813) 994-8534, email office@WesleyChapelChamber.com, or visit WesleyChapelChamber.com.

GOODWILL JOB FAIR Goodwill Industries-Suncoast Inc., will have a job fair Feb. 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the CareerSource office, 9350 Bay Plaza in Tampa. At least 36 job positions will be available at a new Goodwill Store and distribution center, at 1407 U.S. 301 in Tampa. Applicants must be 18 years of age. Job positions include retail management staff members, sales and donations processing associates, and dock workers. Hiring managers will be onsite to interview applicants. Goodwill offers a benefits package and is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Goodwill is a drug-free workplace. The new 20,000-square-foot store will sell donated clothing, household items, furniture and a variety of new products. It is expected to open sometime in February. The 200,000-square-foot distribution center will house transportation and logistical operations for Goodwill-Suncoast, which are relocating from the headquarters on Gandy Boulevard in St. Petersburg. It is expected to open in early April. Walk-ins are welcome, but job seekers are encouraged to apply online at Goodwill-suncoast.org/careers, prior to the job fair.

Send business news to news@lakerlutznews.com

NEW IDENTITIES HAIR STUDIO OPENS New Identities Hair Studio had a ribbon cutting and open house on Feb. 7 for its third salon location, at 19038 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., in New Tampa. Other locations are in Tampa Palms at 15307 Amberly Drive and 10639 Big Bend Road in Riverview. For information, call the studio at (813) 579-1575, or visit NewIdentitiesSalon.com.

MEMBERSHIP LUNCH The North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce will have its monthly membership lunch Feb. 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Fox Hollow Golf Club, 10050 Robert Trent Jones Parkway in Trinity. Guest speakers will be from the Pasco Economic Development Council.They will discuss the council’s SMARTstart Microloan Fund. The cost is $25 at the door for members and non-members. For more information, please call the

HISPANIC LEADERS’ MIXER The Hispanic Business Leaders of the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce will

host a mixer Feb. 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at The White Room Bar & Lounge, 6472 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes. Enjoy two-for-one drinks, free soft drinks, refreshments and Latin music. The event is free. For information, call the chamber at (813) 909-2722, or visit CentralPascoChamber.com.

BEACH HOUSE OPEN HOUSE Beach House Wiregrass Assisted Living & Memory Care will host an open house Feb. 21 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at 30070 State Road 56 in Wesley Chapel.There will be a ribbon cutting at noon. Enjoy tours of Beach House, as well as international cuisine and music from three countries. The event is free, but an RSVP is requested by Feb. 16. For information and to RSVP, call Callie Sears or Linda Mena at (813) 508-6677, or visit BeachHouseWiregrass.com.

UNCLE MADDIO’S HAPPY HOUR The North Tampa Chamber of Commerce will host Uncle Maddio’s February 2018 Happy Hour on Feb. 21 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Uncle Maddio’s, at 3949 Van Dyke Road in Lutz. The restaurant will offer $1 off any pizza, and buy-one, get-one- free deal for house wine and draft beers. The event is free, but RSVP for a headcount by Feb. 20. For information, call the chamber at (813) 563-0180, or email Contact@northtampachamber.com.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BRIEFING The North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce has scheduled its monthly economic briefing for Feb. 22 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Hunter’s Green Country Club, 18101 Longwater Run Drive in Tampa. Guest speaker will be Sandra Doran, the founder of North Tampa Christian Academy. The kindergarten through 12th-grade private school is under construction at 5619 County Line Road in Wesley Chapel. It is expected to open for the 2018-2019 school year. The cost is $15 for members and $20 for non-members. For information, call the chamber at (813) 994-8534.

SIEG & COLE RIBBON CUTTING Sieg & Cole will have a ribbon cutting for its new law office on Feb. 22 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at 2945 Defuniak St., in Trinity. The event is free. For information, call the law office at (727) 842-2237, or visit SiegColeLaw.com.

EAST PASCO NETWORKING GROUP The East Pasco Networking Group will meet Feb. 27 at 7:30 a.m., at the IHOP, 13100 U.S. 301 in Dade City. Guest speaker will be Gary Joiner, Pasco County’s property appraiser. For information, contact Nils Lenz at nilslenz@gmail.com or (813) 782-9491; or Vice Chairwoman Vicky Jones at donlvicl@yahoo.com or (813) 431-1149.

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Deuteronomy 6:5


COURTESY OF ROXXY GEISENHEIMER COURTESY OF PATRICIA SERIO

Gifts from the heart

Members of the GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club handcrafted hundreds of Valentine greetings and treats. The items were delivered to the Lutz Senior Center, as well as the Lutz and Land O’ Lakes area Meals on Wheels locations, for distribution to the elderly and shutins. From left, Linda Mitchell hands a box of the Valentines to Belkys Poueriet, senior center coordinator, alongside Aniko Solomonson. For information, visit GFWCLutzLandOLakesWomansClub.org.

Rotary doubles down on donation

The Rotary Club of Zephyrhills presented a check for $1,000 to The Samaritan Project, doubling its annual contribution. Jodi Wilkeson (left), president, said the reason for the increase was Samaritan’s response to recent cold-weather emergencies and increased impact in the community. Roxxy Geisenheimer, executive director The Samaritan Project, accepted the check and spoke about the project’s purpose and progress.

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Looking out for each other The Woman's Club of Zephyrhills recently hosted Larnelle Scott, community outreach coordinator State of Florida, for the Pasco Guardian ad Litem Program. Scott, left, gave an overview of the GAL program, and information about how to volunteer. Many children in Pasco county are in need of this program, and the club donated 10 birthday bags, containing everything a ‘gal’ would need. COURTESY OF BECKY FINLEY

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The Laker-Wesley Chapel/New Tampa-February 14, 2018  

Housing demand on rise in Florida, Pasco; Del Webb moves into Bexley; Helping relationships thrive — not just on Valentine’s Day

The Laker-Wesley Chapel/New Tampa-February 14, 2018  

Housing demand on rise in Florida, Pasco; Del Webb moves into Bexley; Helping relationships thrive — not just on Valentine’s Day